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Why Lee Lapin changed his name here...

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by Fred Fuller, Mar 2, 2012.

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  1. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    ... just in case you were wondering.

    A long time ago, in a place not that far away, yours truly was working for the Department of the Army as a DAC (Department of the Army civilian). I had a security clearance, and was writing official stuff for official use and for publication as well. This was before there was a WorldWideWeb, but there was an Internet, and since I was working on what came to be called OSINT (open source intelligence), I was very active on the Internet under my given name - Fred Fuller.

    As is the case now, there were strictures on personal use of official assets, like Internet access. But there was still such a thing as personal access to the Internet, so those limitations were not a problem. But potential confusion, I found out, could be a problem.

    I found out how much of a problem it might be when I got a working draft of an official paper in email. That paper was written by a staff member to one of the folks who was pretty high up on my official food chain - the ASD-SO/LIC, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict. That paper is still posted, interestingly enough, and can be seen here: http://www.fas.org/cp/swett.html .

    What surprised me was the appearance in this paper of the name of a fellow Federal employee that I knew through the work I was doing online, and all the reactions to the appearance of his name (not even in an official context) that took place as a result. Watching this nutroll was enough to make me decide I needed a pen name for use in my personal activities on the Internet, since the Army essentially 'owned' my real name.

    So, way back in 1995, I decided to use the name Lee P. Lapin on the Internet for my personal stuff. Why that name? There was someone writing ... interesting ... sorts of books for Paladin Press who used the name Lee Lapin, but that had nothing to do with my decision. I didn't even know about that at the time.

    I had however just finished reading the autobiography of F. F. E. Yeo-Thomas, who in World War Two was a member of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), serving behind German lines in Occupied France ( http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/about/news/yeo-thomas/). The title of his autobiography was The White Rabbit, after the translation of his nomme de guerre - le petite lapin blanc.

    Thus was born Lee P. Lapin.

    But now I'm retired, I doubt I'll ever work again in an official capacity, or have to worry about a security clearance ever again. I think it's safe for me to resume the name I was born with, after seventeen years of using a pen name for personal stuff on the Internet. So here it is.

    I'd appreciate a kind thought for the memory of a genuinely brave man, if you've read this far. I adopted the pen name as a personal commemoration of Yeo-Thomas' service and sacrifice on behalf of freedom in some of the darkest days humanity has known so far. Using the pen name gave me occasional opportunities to share this story with people who otherwise might not have known about Yeo-Thomas and by extension the many other little known and often unheralded men and women who served the cause of freedom in occupied Europe as well as the Pacific Theater in Allied special operations units.

    Thank you...
     
  2. Sky

    Sky Member

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    Fred I think I understand totally and by your writing about NSA it reminded me of some of the weirdness of a security clearance. Could fill a book with stuff but why bother; right?

    I for one have enjoyed you input and knowledgeable responses regardless of which name you used. Good luck always.
     
  3. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Fred, I get your reasoning fully. I retired less than a year ago, so I still keep my true identity under wraps.
     
  4. Autolycus

    Autolycus Member

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    Interesting read. Thanks for sharing it.
     
  5. 2zulu1

    2zulu1 Member

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    I have always had a great deal of respect for you and thank you for sharing the incredible story behind your chosen pen name. :)

    Welcome home!
     
  6. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    Ahhhh, NSA, I remember it well. There but for the lack of a security clearance go I ...
     
  7. billvau

    billvau Member

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    Well Fred, your post was a surprise. It's a small world. I only occasionally come by THR but never would have guessed that you were Lee Lapin.
     
  8. icanthitabarn

    icanthitabarn Member

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    Secret names and security clearances, ya sure your name is Fred Fuller. ;)
     
  9. Bovice

    Bovice Member

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    Fed Fuller, International Man of Mystery
     
  10. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    JFK, not NSA.

    And that's what the birth certificate says, anyway :D.
     
  11. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    Kind of reminds me of the book Ender's Game which I read in 89 or 90 where these kids assume online personas and write about politics and become popular. Much like you!
     
  12. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome Fred :)
     
  13. conw

    conw Member

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    I always wondered why the disparity. Now I don't have to worry about slipping up and confusing people who would ask "Who's Fred?" :)
     
  14. jbrown50

    jbrown50 Member

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    Fred, I'm sure you know that even though you've been debriefed and no longer have the physical accesses or need to know, you never really 'lose' that clearance.;)
     
  15. David G.

    David G. Member

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    Welcome to the forums Fred. I'm sure you will like it here.:D
     
  16. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    Quite the strategy and tactics to go by a pen name, must have taken some training to master it. :D
     
  17. JustSomeDude

    JustSomeDude Member

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    Huh, no security clearance here, but I still prefer to use a pen name or three for most of my online activities.
     
  18. sidheshooter

    sidheshooter Member

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    Welcome back, sir!
     
  19. xXxplosive

    xXxplosive Member

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    It's good to meet you....Fred.
    Relax and enjoy........
     
  20. jfh

    jfh Member

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    welcome, Fred.

    Jim H.
     
  21. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Member

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    I wondered about that.

    ... and started referring to himself in the third person. ;)
     
  22. USAF_Vet

    USAF_Vet Member

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    Rest in peace Lee. Welcome Fred. :)
     
  23. wrc

    wrc Member

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    Congratulations, no more mysteries =) s/Lee/Fred/g

    If anyone has the same interest in good ol' Tommy, or the SOE in general, I heartily recommend Between Silk and Cyanide by Leo Marks.
     
  24. tazbigdog

    tazbigdog Member

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    I work with a guy named Fred Fuller. But it's in Texas.
     
  25. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    Got LOTS of relatives in Texas, my grandmother was born in Maud. But that's on my mom's side of the family. Dad's side is from AL. Fuller is a pretty common surname...
     
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